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The Smell of an Impossible Dream: Dallas, Migration and Failure in Angie Cruz’s Let It Rain Coffee
University of Turku.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Education, Language, and Teaching.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8813-5721
University of Turku.
2014 (English)In: Journal of Commonwealth Literature, ISSN 0021-9894, E-ISSN 1741-6442, Vol. 49, no 2, p. 229-242Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A Latin Caribbean (forced) migration experience is in the centre of Angie Cruz’s 2005 novel, Let It Rain Coffee, which depicts the life and history of the Colón family in three different time periods (the early 1920s, the 1960s and the 1990s) in the Dominican Republic as well as in New York City. This paper focuses on the early nineties immigrant experience of Esperanza Colón, whose addiction to the television show Dallas becomes illustrative of a cultural identity formed by the ideal of the American Dream and mass culture. Although Esperanza fails to live up to the impossible standards she has set herself, the novel’s presentation of failure as a creative activity (as envisioned by Halberstam) challenges the hegemony of capitalism and globalization. Instead of reading the novel in terms of the two extremes of success or failure which typically characterise migrant narratives (Pearce), we focus on Esperanza’s “middle ranges of agency” (Sedgwick) to show how the commonplace terms in which migration is often presented fail to capture the nuances of immigrant experience at odds with the promise of the metropolis as negotiated by Cruz in the novel.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 49, no 2, p. 229-242
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
English, Specialization in Didactics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-3418DOI: 10.1177/0021989414525616ISI: 000342803300007Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84904126260Local ID: 13e22738-aa22-47f1-8e70-5d181e36c14dOAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-3418DiVA, id: diva2:976276
Note
Validerad; 2014; 20140205 (lydkok)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2018-07-10Bibliographically approved

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Kokkola, Lydia

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